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Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 313–341 | Cite as

Perspective and Epistemic State Ascriptions

  • Markus KneerEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article explores whether perspective taking has an impact on the ascription of epistemic states. To do so, a new method is introduced which incites participants to imagine themselves in the position of the protagonist of a short vignette and to judge from her perspective. In a series of experiments (total N=1980), perspective proves to have a significant impact on belief ascriptions, but not on knowledge ascriptions. For belief, perspective is further found to moderate the epistemic side-effect effect significantly. It is hypothesized that the surprising findings are driven by the special epistemic authority we enjoy in assessing our own belief states, which does not extend to the assessment of our own knowledge states.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Mark Alfano, James Beebe, Wesley Buckwalter, Quassim Cassam, Florian Cova, Simon Cullen, Stefanie Kneer, Edouard Machery, Barry Maguire, Blake Myers-Schulz, Obioma Ofoego, Brian Robinson, David Rose, John Turri and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments. I am particularly grateful to Joshua Knobe and Brent Strickland for very helpful feedback.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History & Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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